It’s no secret that having a child with Autism can be difficult. Don’t get me wrong, it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced, but difficult nonetheless.
This picture pretty much sums it up. You have your good days, your bad days, and days that you think will never end. Yesterday was one of those days.
Nicholas’ autism manifests itself in his inability to communicate. In fact, his developmental psychologist diagnosed him as non-verbally autistic.
While he has made some incredible progress in the year since his diagnosis and, at this point, would technically no longer be considered non-verbal, there is still so much that he cannot communicate.
The words that he does have are all basic, simple, single words. For example, he knows the word “milk” and will say it when he would like some. He knows how to use the words “more” and “help.”
The problem? It is not always clear what he would like more of, or help with.
The problem is that he is getting older and he wants to be independent, he knows what he wants. He just can’t communicate that with us yet.
Unfortunately, this results in numerous meltdowns and sometimes, a lot of screaming.
This is something I have gotten used to. I realize that no matter how hard I try to help him, to make things easier on him, there are times when he will struggle and there are times he will get frustrated.
Again, this is something I’ve come to accept. What I was not prepared for, was the day this would meet the terrible twos.
I’ve heard it said before that the terrible twos are at their worst right before the third birthday. Now that I have a toddler who is only a month shy of 3 (how did that happen by the way?) I believe it!
There is no rhyme or reason to the meltdowns. They can happen at any time of day, over the smallest of things. What didn’t bother him yesterday could mean the end of the world today. And to top it off, I’m pretty sure that going into meltdown mode is like some sort of power up when it comes to toddlers. All of a sudden your tiny 2 year old has the strength and endurance of ten men.
Working with children in the past, I am no stranger to tantrums but nothing like I have experienced with Nicholas over the past few weeks. It is exhausting and I can’t help but think about how much easier it would be on both him and I if he could just communicate his wants and needs.
Like the meltdowns wouldn’t be quite so draining if only I knew what it was that he wanted.
Remembering that this is just a phase, that this too shall pass, has helped but there are still days that are just so draining, so difficult that you don’t believe it. Days like yesterday where nothing made him happy, everything seemed to be wrong, and the meltdowns flowed so seamlessly together that you would have thought the entire day was made up of one giant one.
These days happen but, even though it may sometimes feel like it, they do not happen everyday.
I have to remind myself that there will be more difficult days but there will be many more rewarding ones. I have to remind myself that my baby won’t be a baby much longer and even the difficult days need to be remembered.
I remind myself that there are many other parents out there that are going through the exact same thing and I am lucky enough to call a few of them my friends here in the blog world. So if you’re struggling with the terrible twos yourself, maybe a little autism, or maybe just a bad day, please remember that you’re not alone and that yes, even though it may not feel like it…
Thanks for letting me vent today friends! Sometimes that all a mama really needs 🙂